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Studies successfully completed

Graduation ceremony for MHB psychology students

The photo shows MHB students throwing their hats in the air at graduation.
Great joy among the graduates. They have successfully completed their studies at MHB.

Neuruppin, 30 October 2023

Saturday, 28 October 2023 – a memorable day for 39 psychology students of the Brandenburg Medical School Theodor Fontane (MHB) whose graduation was celebrated with a ceremony at the event venue Kulturkirche Neuruppin, attended by family, friends and companions. 23 were awarded a Bachelor degree; 16 completed the Master course in “Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy”, among them the second cohort to pass the final exam pursuant to revised licensing regulations for psychotherapists.


Contribution to care provision in Brandenburg

In his welcoming words MHB president Prof. Hans-Uwe Simon described the exam as the most challenging examination procedure in psychotherapy to date and noted with pride that the MHB is the first university nationwide to have successfully trained the second cohort of graduates pursuant to revised licensing regulations. The majority of Master graduates is now starting their specialist training, several of them in Brandenburg, for the immediate benefit of healthcare in the region. Prof. Simon gave his thanks to all involved in the foundation and progress of the MHB and care provision in the State of Brandenburg for their passionate support and dedication; he explicitly included associated hospitals, teaching practices, sponsors and the pertinent Brandenburg authorities.  

Dedicated psychotherapists in great demand

Dr. Andrea Benecke heads the national chamber of psychotherapists which represents around 59,000 psychological psychotherapists and psychotherapists for children and adolescents. Addressing the graduates of the Master course in particular, she spoke of the great demand for dedicated psychotherapists in clinics, practices and far beyond: in advisory services and psychosocial centers, in child welfare agencies and generally in health promotion and prevention. In the course of their specialist training MHB alumni will already make valuable contributions to patient care and continue to be pioneers. Dr. Benecke welcomed the graduates to the professional community and underlined the powers of chamber members to actively influence the rules of further training.

Prof. Johannes Lindenmeyer, professor of clinical psychology with a focus on rehabilitative psychology, played a leading role in the successful launch of revised training concepts at the MHB. In his speech he recalled the historically difficult conditions for the Bachelor graduates who started their studies in times of the Corona pandemic: “For the most part, you had to do without campus life and face-to-face encounters in seminars and tutorials; you were alone at home, and it was up to you to cope with online teaching, and finally to take the first steps in classroom instruction and clinical training, all with masks. But,” so Lindenmeyer, “every crisis has the potential to make you stronger. You have grown as individuals, you have quickly left any entitlement mentality of naïve beginners behind you in favor of the patient-oriented mindset of competent therapists whose personal needs take a back seat in patient care. The tremendous amount of expert knowledge you have acquired is duly noted. But personal growth and maturation are even more important factors for your future qualities as professional therapists.”

Prof Lindenmeyer had words of encouragement for the Master graduates who passed the licensing exam with success: “As pioneers in terms of the revised licensing regulations you are in a unique position. Show self-assurance and optimism in job interviews. Radiate absolute confidence that you are the future. Accept a position, demonstrate your usefulness, and then make your further stay conditional on acknowledgement of your specialist training. You will see that even hospitals that are still hesitant about the issue of advanced training will suddenly fall over themselves to keep you. You are in great demand!”

Franziska Weiß recalled the past years on behalf of the Bachelor graduates, whereas Marie Louise Soulier, speaking for the Master graduates, summed up as follows: “The MHB has formed and empowered us in many creative ways, endowed us with assets, and prepared us for the next chapter. Looking back at times at the MHB that were not always a walk in the park for everybody but actually quite challenging, we can now say with pride that we have made it!”

Prof. Simon and Prof. Lindenmeyer then handed over the 39 degree certificates. Each graduate also received a bottle of MHB wine and a voucher for a tree. The MHB donors' association sponsors the project to buy one tree per graduate for a reforestation scheme in Brandenburg as an active contribution to climate and health protection, and as a symbolic act and encouragement for graduates to establish roots in the region. Awards went to individual students for top grades and for outstanding dedication, donated by the foundation of the local savings bank Sparkasse Ostprignitz-Ruppin and presented by Markus Rück as chairman of the board.

Background:
When the German law reforming the training of psychotherapists entered into force in 2020 it created new and markedly improved parameters for their professional qualification. The license to practice psychotherapy can now be acquired by way of a Bachelor and subsequent Master course to be completed in 5 years, the contents of which are precisely defined in the new regulations. This period is followed by a specialization as “psychotherapist in advanced training” of at least another five years’ duration in permanent and suitably salaried employment.

MHB once again a pioneer: Psychotherapy studies pursuant to revised licensing regulations
In 2020 the MHB was the first German university to offer a Bachelor course “Psychology” and the subsequent Master course “Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy” in compliance with revised licensing regulations.
Right from the start the MHB has cooperated with three hospitals where all psychology students are actively involved in therapeutic patient treatment under supervision by licensed psychotherapists, in lecture-free periods as well as during semesters on several days per week. The concept supports the systematic integration of theoretical studies and practical therapeutic work. To date, more than 200 MHB graduates have acquired a degree in psychology/psychotherapy.
Close to practice
Studies take place in settings of clinical-therapeutical practice from the first semester. The Clinic Day, a unique feature nationwide, offers the chance to acquire competences in close patient contact and gather essential experience. Small learning groups, innovative teaching formats such as POL and regular exchange in TRIK seminars under professional supervision are further elements of studies close to practice.   

Clinical internships guaranteed
MHB students do not need to worry about clinical internships, in contrast to other universities where such placements are hard to come by and the search for them can be a huge challenge. The MHB guarantees clinical internships to all its students for the so called vocational training elements.

Learning about all major standard procedures in psychotherapy
All major standard procedures in psychotherapy (psychodynamic therapy, behavioral therapy, systemic therapy) are represented at the MHB with professorships. This helps students in informed decisions about their own focus for advanced training.   

Transition from „old Bachelor“ to „new Master“
Psychology students from other universities where courses do not comply with revised licensing regulations or where the number of places or internships is not sufficient may transfer to the MHB and immediately profit from the advantages of revised psychotherapy training.

Verified quality
The Bachelor course “Psychology” (B.Sc.) and the Master course “Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy” (M.Sc.), both in compliance with revised licensing regulations, were evaluated (agency: AHPGS yAkkreditierung gGmbH) and accreditation procedures were successfully completed in January 2022.

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